Wadena band, choir students advance to state contest

The band students had an "in-house" contest on April 20.

Students playing the flute.
A flute ensemble performs during the solo ensemble band contest on April 20, 2022 at Wadena-Deer Creek High School.
Contributed / Wadena-Deer Creek Public Schools / Kyle Gylsen

WADENA — When members of the Wadena-Deer Creek 9-12 band were unable to attend the Section 6A/Subsection 24 high school band solo/ensemble contest in Pine River on April 6 due to the weather other arrangements needed to be made.

"The students need to have a Sub-Section event in order to advance to Section/State," explained WDC band director Lisa Weniger.

She planned an in-house solo/ensemble subsection contest for the students with judge Bruce Pederson, a retired band director from Pierz.

Pederson came to WDC on April 20 and listened to the Wolverine band members perform their selections. The various soloists and ensembles performed first, followed by the large percussion ensemble and jazz band.

Judge Band Bruce Pederson Contest.jpg
Judge Bruce Pederson, a retired band director from Pierz, shares with students during the Wadena-Deer Creek band contest on April 20, 2022.
Contributed / Wadena-Deer Creek Public Schools / Kyle Gylsen

Pederson listened to each selection before offering his critique and comments on the performance, along with some advice or suggestions on how the students could improve.


Overall, every WDC student received either a "Superior" or "Excellent" rating. The students are eligible to advance to the Section 6A Contest on Saturday, May 7 at M-State in Fergus Falls.

Freshman Grace Richards also competed at the Section 6A/Subsection 24 Vocal Solo/Ensemble Contest in Pine River on April 13. She was the only member of the WDC high school choir to compete.

"Grace did great job and received a 'Superior' rating," said WDC choral director Michael Ortmann.

Wadena-Deer Creek concert band and choir performs.
Freshman Grace Richards sings a solo in the song "Ride the Chariot" during the Wadena-Deer Creek concert choir performance Monday, March 7, 2022, in Wadena.
Michael Johnson / Pioneer Journal

She sang “This Little Rose,” which is based on a poem by Emily Dickinson. Richards plans to compete at the Section/State vocal solo/ensemble contest on May 7.

“She did a fantastic job and it was a wonderful experience for her,” Ortmann added. “She received some very good feedback from her performance and will be able to take it to the next level.”

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